‘Excellent’ staff in line for pay increase
Care at Home services in North Lanarkshire are set to benefit from a funding boost of almost £3.6m to help ongoing work to expand the service.
The Scottish Government funding will enable staff to see more service users, deal with the current surge in demand and complexity of individual needs, and help ease pressures on unpaid carers.
The funding will help support Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire to:
· Commissioning more hours of care
· Expand existing services
· Support complex assessments, reviews and rehabilitation
· Enable unpaid carers to have breaks
· Provide long-term security to existing staff
· Recruit internal staff
Dr Avril Osborne, North Lanarkshire Integration Joint Board chair, said: “We are continuing to prioritise urgent care for our most vulnerable residents. This is being done to ensure their safety as sustained pressure continues to be experienced across hospitals and community.
“Care at Home staff have shown excellent flexibility, compassion and resilience throughout the pandemic. They have responded to the challenges of the pandemic impressively while still showing empathy and delivering safe care to our service users.
“It’s also important to thank service users and their families for their support as staff have faced a number of increasing demands on the service.
“The last three months have been, quite possibly, the most challenging time our staff have experienced during the pandemic. This extra funding will help us to support our staff which, in turn, will give them extra capacity to keep our service users safe.
“The extra money will fund a range of approaches to prevent care needs from escalating. This includes areas such as intermediate care, rehabilitation or re-enablement and enhanced multi-disciplinary team support to people living in their own homes or in a care home who have health and social care needs.
“It will also enable us to continue our work in technology-enabled care. This includes equipment and adaptations which can contribute significantly to the streamlining of service responses and empower our service users to live independently in the heart of their communities.”
Funding has also been secured to increase the hourly pay of adult social care staff who provide direct care to service users. As a result, the hourly wage will rise to more than £10.02.
Councillor Paul Kelly, North Lanarkshire Integration Joint Board depute chair, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has increased demands, continues to disrupt staffing levels and influences the way our services are delivered. Our staff’s ongoing understanding and dedication is extraordinary despite the challenges we continue to face.
“This funding is a welcome addition to our work to retain and recruit staff in the sector and to help tackle the immediate pressures facing the service.
“We have recently recruited 81 new staff to the service and will be advertising further roles over the coming weeks and months. This, alongside the wage increase for independent sector providers will help to make the posts attractive for people starting out in a very rewarding career.”
The partnership has also been allocated funding for Hospital at Home and the provision of interim care.
The interim care funding will enable patients in hospital to move into care homes and other community settings, on an interim basis, to ensure they can complete their recovery in an appropriate location.
Local teams will work with people and their families to explore options while multi-disciplinary teams will ensure they receive high quality, responsive healthcare and rehabilitation. Any placement is expected to be in their immediate locality or other suitable location when an appropriate care at home package isn’t available immediately. A clear care plan for this period of interim care will be in place, with an agreed date for the placement to end.